Ask JK

Need an important question answered?

Submit it and a J.K. Lasser Tax Expert may answer your question online.

  • Do you want to sign up to receive the J.K. Lasser Alert newsletter?
FIND ANSWERS

Recently Answered Questions

 

November 19, 2018 10:18 pm

No. Income averaging is limited to certain lump-sum distributions from qualified retirement plans. There is no income averaging for IRA distributions or income resulting from a Roth IRA conversion....

November 8, 2018 1:55 am

While casualty losses to personal use property in 2018 are not deductible unless the property is located in a federally-declared disaster area, this rule does not apply to investment property. If you ...

November 8, 2018 1:52 am

While annual contributions to Roth IRAs can be made up to the due date of the return (e.g., April 15, 2019, for 2018 contributions), a Roth IRA conversion is taxable in the year it is made. So if you ...

November 8, 2018 1:50 am

If you itemize deductions instead of claiming the standard deduction, you may be eligible for an itemized medical deduction with respect to treatment for your child’s condition. Depending on the sev...

September 26, 2018 10:03 pm

The age of the vehicle does not determine whether you can claim the standard mileage rate. For 2018, you must be self-employed to claim deductions for business driving. And you must choose to use the ...

September 26, 2018 10:02 pm

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ended the individual mandate starting in 2019. So for 2018, you’ll be penalized unless you have minimum essential health coverage or qualify for an exemption from coverage....

September 26, 2018 10:00 pm

A government’s exercise of eminent domain is really a condemnation where private property is legally taken for public use. Gain (or loss) from the event is the difference between the award you recei...

July 22, 2018 10:59 pm

Instead of depreciating certain expenditures, you may be able to use an IRS-created de minimis safe harbor to deduct these costs (up to $2,500 per item or invoice). You can find more about the safe ha...

July 22, 2018 10:57 pm

Even though you are under age 59½, you won’t be penalized for an IRA distribution used to pay medical expenses in excess of 7.5% of adjusted gross income in 2017 or 2018. The AGI threshold is set t...

July 22, 2018 10:55 pm

You have three years from the due date of the tax return to file for a refund. So you must file a 2015 return no later than April 15, 2019, to claim the refund. You can find prior year tax forms from ...

Page 4 of 32« First...23456...102030...Last »

If you fail to meet the two-out-of-five year ownership and use tests, you can qualify for a partial exclusion (related to the period of time you were in the home) if you can show that the move was bec...

No. Medicare benefits are tax free; they don’t count as income for determining filing and are not taxed. What’s more, Medicare premiums are tax deductible if you itemize your personal deductions a...

Eligibility for a health savings account (HSA) is determined for each individual. If you qualify, you can set up an account for yourself even though your spouse is ineligible for one because of being ...

You must attach your own statement to your tax return that includes the following information:The transaction was a loan and not a gift (this can be proven by showing a promissory note that inclu...

For 2014, large employers were required to report coverage on employees’ W-2 forms; small employers could do so voluntarily. Employers could also voluntarily report coverage to employees on Form 109...

It’s time to look at a calendar to see whether you meet the time test for the home sale exclusion. You must have owned and used the home as your principal residence for at least two of the five year...

When you sell property, the difference between what you receive and your tax basis in the property produces gain or loss. When selling property, include what you paid for this, such as the land and th...

If you pay the money directly to the facility, there is no dollar limit on how much you can effectively gift to benefit your mother for purposes of federal gift taxes. What’s more, this action may e...

Under the home sale exclusion rules, you can use part of the exclusion if you cannot meet the two-year test for owning and living in the home under certain conditions. The failure to meet the test mus...

You can take a tuition and fees deduction only for a dependent, so if your granddaughter is not your dependent, you’re out of luck. If she were your dependent, the deduction is capped at $4,000 (you...

Page 4 of 11« First...23456...10...Last »

While you clearly have an economic loss, tax rules prevent you from deducting the decline in value from your $120,000 purchase price to the value at the time you converted the condo to rental property...

No, there is no carryback for capital losses. Capital losses can offset capital gains and up to $3,000 of ordinary income. Any capital loss over this limit can be carried forward indefinitely to offse...

No. Trustees or issuers of traditional IRAs must furnish Form 5498 to participants each year if there is a contribution (including a rollover) or a distribution. It is merely an information return tha...

It’s time to look at a calendar to see whether you meet the time test for the home sale exclusion. You must have owned and used the home as your principal residence for at least two of the five year...

Suspended passive losses become deductible in the year in which there is a complete disposition of the property in a fully taxable event to an unrelated party. The fact that the losses remained suspen...

When you sell property, the difference between what you receive and your tax basis in the property produces gain or loss. When selling property, include what you paid for this, such as the land and th...

Gain or loss is the difference between the basis of the stock and what you received for it. The basis of inherited stock used for determining gain or loss is the estate tax value, which is usually the...

The payment of principal is never a deductible expense. However, check the payoff information to see whether there were any fees paid in addition to principal; the fees may be considered a selling exp...

There’s no simple answer. The tax treatment of the award—as ordinary income, as capital gains, or as a nontaxable return of investment—depends on the origin of the claim. The question you have t...

The dollar limit for contributions to a medical FSA for 2015 is $2,550. Each spouse can contribute up to this limit as long as each works for an employer offering such a plan. This enables a couple to...

Page 4 of 7« First...23456...Last »

Because you are a volunteer and not a paid educator who works at least 900 hours a year, you cannot use the above-the-line deduction of up to $250 from gross income (allowed even if you don’t itemiz...

Unfortunately, no. Gifts to individuals, no matter how needy, are never deductible. Only gifts to IRS-recognized charities are deductible if you itemize deductions. In the case of the Louisiana disast...

A repayment of principal is never deductible. Interest on the loan may be deductible, depending on what you used the proceeds for. If you purchased securities, the interest is treated as investment in...

This rule expired at the end of 2014 and has not yet been extended for 2015. Many believe it will be extended, but it is advisable to wait until later this year to see what Congress does before making...

If you are talking about federal income taxes, they are never deductible. If you paid state income taxes for 2014 when you filed your return in 2015, the additional taxes you paid with your return bec...

The home office deduction is allowed for both employees and self-employed individuals, with this difference: employees must use their home office for the convenience of the employer (not for personal ...

Not yet. The more than four dozen tax rules that expired at the end of 2014 have yet to be extended for 2015. Stay tuned!...

Suspended passive losses become deductible in the year in which there is a complete disposition of the property in a fully taxable event to an unrelated party. The fact that the losses remained suspen...

No. Eligibility for the earned income tax credit is based on income, not age. The amount of the credit varies with the number of qualifying children you have. A modest credit applies even if you have ...

Job-loss mortgage insurance is a policy that pays some or all of the mortgage payments (and, under some policies, real estate taxes and homeowners insurance) if you lose your job. The IRS has not rule...

Page 4 of 11« First...23456...10...Last »

Only a taxpayer, or a representative with a taxpayer’s permission, can obtain copies of previously filed tax returns. Ask your parents to take action:They can request a free copy of a transcrip...

In the case of a joint tenancy with someone who is not a spouse and who did not contribute anything, the basis depends on the estate tax value of the property (even if the estate is too small to be re...

Once you are enrolled in Medicare, you are no longer eligible to contribute to an HSA. Your contributions must be prorated for the period in which you have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Thus, ...

The IRS has yet to rule on the tax treatment of relocation payments under the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program, and some people in your situation have received a Form 1099-A or ...

There are several tax breaks for college tuition payments: an above-the-line deduction (this break expired at the end of 2013 but likely will be extended for 2014), education tax credits, an exclusion...

Federal income taxes are not deductible. Similarly, you cannot deduct your payment of FICA on wages or the additional Medicare taxes on earned income (0.9% over your threshold amount) and net investme...

No. A Schedule C is required if you are in a trade or business. However, you can report miscellaneous income on line 21 of Form 1040 (“other income”). This miscellaneous income is not subject to s...

It depends on whether you’re viewed under the tax law as a developer. If you hold the lot as investment property, any gain you reap is taxed as capital gain. You may also owe an additional 3.8% tax ...

Earned income remains taxable regardless of age. Similarly, such income continues to be subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes (FICA for an employee; self-employment tax for a self-employed per...

No. The computation of alternative minimum tax (AMT) starts with adjusted gross income from which itemized deductions other than miscellaneous itemized deductions and state and local taxes are subtrac...

Page 4 of 11« First...23456...10...Last »
advertisement